So you got a new massage gun and decided to recover better in 2023. Congrats! Massage guns can help you warm up before workouts and recover faster after them by working out unpleasant knots and minimizing DOMS.
But before you start pounding your muscles, remember that as intuitive as massage guns appear, there are still proper and wrong ways to use them, and a little professional instruction can go a long way toward helping you get the most out of a healing session. So we consulted an expert.
1. Pay attention to your body. People use percussion on themselves because it provides instant feedback about whether they are pushing too hard or too gently. Percussion can be unsettling, especially if you're not used to it. However, this is entirely natural and acceptable. When the pressure is lifted, any symptoms of discomfort, tightness, or soreness should disappear. When using any portion of your body, you should always be able to take a full breath. You're going too deep if you use pressure that causes you to stop breathing.
2. Maintain control. It's always comforting to know that athletes can always keep their percussion guns under control. They utilize pressure to generate a muscular contraction with tissues beneath the percussion head. If percussion on a region starts to feel less pleasant, your brain signals that area has been stimulated enough.
3. Visit the less-than-ideal locations. Massage guns are a terrific method to bring awareness to a region, eliminate stiffness in a movement, or make something feel better before training. It is beneficial for folks to rapidly hit what they feel they need input before training. Some of us have trouble regions, previous injuries, or locations that could benefit from a brief massage and blood flow before working out.
One of the most common errors is believing that you must massage every muscle group or body area. Instead, we want self-care and mobilization to be a simple and long-lasting element of anyone's physical practice.
4. Experiment with various heads. If you've ever gotten a massage, you know that the therapist doesn't only use their thumbs or elbows. The various heads have slightly varied effects on the body. Let yourself experiment and figure out what works best for you. Some parts of your body will respond better to a softer head, while others will need a stiffer one.
5. Be dynamic. Include as much mobility as possible in the tissues you're working with. For example, you can flex and extend your knee while mobilizing your quads. Also, move freely throughout the muscle or tissue you're working on.